Vic Open Format Could Preview The Future For Men And Women
Way down south in the land Down Under, on a stretch of coastline so remote that a famous convict escapee, William Buckley, once lived undiscovered with an Aboriginal tribe for 32 years, a small golf revolution is underway.
For the past seven years, the ISPS Handa Vic Open – an Australian state championship first held in 1957 – has staged men’s and women’s events concurrently, on the same courses, at the same time, for equal prize money.
The 13th Beach Golf Links, which is 70 miles south of Melbourne, Victoria’s capital city, boasts two lovely seaside layouts, the Beach and the Creek, and it is here that the women play alongside the men under exactly the same tournament conditions. With galleries allowed to walk behind them on the fairways.
The women play the Beach one day and the Creek the next – the men vice-versa – and, after 36- and 54-hole cuts are made, they have alternate tee times on the Beach course over the weekend.
It’s a format unique to professional golf and such has been the phenomenal growth in the tournament’s popularity – both among the professionals, sponsors and galleries – that other tournaments are ringing up Golf Victoria and asking for details: How does it all work?
Of course, you need a 36-hole venue to make it happen. That way, tournament organisers save on almost half the infrastructure costs. There’s only a need for one lot of grandstands, one ticket booth, one catering firm, ...
Get access to this article and all the quality, in-depth journalism of Global Golf Post Plus.
or Log In